The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving Paperback – 10 Apr 2014
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'Jonathan Evison is a gifted raconteur with a wicked sense of humor and an unflagging empathy for humankind in all its sad, foible-filled magnificence. In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, his myriad talents are displayed in full bloom' Patrick Dewitt.
About the Author
Jonathan Evison's debut novel Lulu won the Washington State Book Award, and his second novel, West of Here, was a New York Times Bestseller. He lives on an island in Western Washington.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the story of Ben, a loser (no job, no life, no effort with the few friends he has left) who finally gets the pick up he needs when he takes a job looking after disabled teenager Trev, which he does about a thousand times better than he ever takes care of himself.
The two form an unlikely friendship and take a road trip together to visit Trev's Dad, taking in some of the USA's most random tourist attractions (giant pits and the like) and a few new friends too. The whole journey is completely rejuvenating for bored and frustrated Trev and lost soul Ben.
The way Ben's tragic past is revealed is cleverly done so you not only see how he got to the end of the road trip but also what led him there - his life is so sad but somehow leaves you with hope for his future. The book is all about him moving forward, with glimpses to the past and I love books like this that are all about the every day slog of life after a big event. There's something about these protagonists - both ordinary blokes who have been through the runner and whose most tender moments together largely involve barely any words or teasing each other as opposed to break downs and emotional heart to hearts. These are blokes we all know.
Highly recommend a punt on this on - it deserves a wide readership.
A man who has lost his family applies for a job as a carer to a disabled teenager. We know that Ben is estranged from his wife after the death of their two young children, is refusing her a divorce and just generally not coping all that well. Trev is stuck in his wheelchair and also stuck in a bit of a rut, but sees something in Ben and hires him as his carer, even if he's not properly qualified.
Partway through the book, after Trev's deadbeat dad drops into his life again, Trev and Ben end up on a road trip. Yes, it turns into a road trip book. I was listening to an audio version of the book and actually started tuning out a bit from this point onward, I just didn't find it as interesting. They travel over large parts of America and meet various quirky and unusual people, with a few funny scenes but forced quirkiness, in my opinion.
Ben and Trev have a nice easy relationship, Ben makes a chatty and likeable narrator, but the story just didn't grip me as they got into Ben's clapped-out car.
I spent most of the book longing to know what had happened to Ben's kids, hints of the past creep in throughout, Ben's wife sends in someone to force him to sign their divorce papers and we see their happier times. But I never found out what happened to the children. Reading reviews, it sounds like I tuned out for two vital lines that explained it all. And now I can't find them again (if you know what did happen, please send me a private message!!).
At the end I was left feeling that I've read (and seen) this kind of redemptive plot done before, but better. Such as the wonderful French film Untouchable.
Left feeling frustrated that I didn't catch the vital sentences , but wonder if they would justify the build-up anyway.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy to read though story a little humdrum in places. Something to read on a train or plane journey perhaps!Published on 1 Feb. 2014 by Banasam